Hydroviv Vs. Berkey Water Filter Systems (2024)

Water is an essential part of our daily lives, but the quality of this precious resource is not always guaranteed. Investing in a good water filter system, such as Hydroviv or Berkey, can help ensure that your tap water is clean and safe to drink.

This article will provide an in-depth comparison of these two water filter systems, discussing their key features, pros, and cons.

A Brief Comparison Table

CustomizationCustomized to local water sourceGeneral-purpose filter
Filtration MechanismMulti-stage filtration with pressureGravity-fed filtration
InstallationUnder-the-sink, easy installationStandalone, no installation
LongevityFilters last 6 monthsFilters can last several years
StorageNo storage tankComes with a storage tank
SizeCompact, fits under the sinkLarger, requires more space
CostHigher upfront cost, regular filter replacementLower upfront cost, long-lasting filters
Contaminants RemovedPFAS, fluoride, lead, chromium-6, arsenic, etc.Bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, chemicals, etc.
UsageIndoor use, requires electricity and water supplyIndoor and outdoor use, works without electricity and water supply

Hydroviv Water Filters: A Closer Look

Hydroviv, a company that boasts of its science-backed approach to water filtration, offers customizable filters tailored to the specific water quality issues of your local area.

Hydroviv uses a multi-stage filtration process to remove chemicals, heavy metals, microplastics and more from water.

How Hydroviv Works

Here are the key stages in Hydroviv filters:

  • Sediment Prefilter: Traps particles like dirt and rust through a 5 micron woven mesh screen.
  • KDF: This is a copper and zinc media that filters water and inhibits bacterial growth in the filter.
  • Activated Carbon Block: Made from coconut shell carbon, this stage reduces chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, chlorine and more through adsorption.
  • Ion Exchange: Removes heavy metals like lead and arsenic that can leach from old pipes.
  • VOC: This proprietary stage uses oxidation to eliminate volatile organic compounds like industrial solvents and pesticides.
  • Ultrafiltration Membrane: With 0.1 micron pores, this filter traps microplastics, bacteria, cysts, asbestos fibers and more.

The custom blends of filter media are tailored to your local water quality report. Hydroviv also has an optional PFAS removal stage using a proprietary anion exchange resin.

Pros of Hydroviv Filters

Hydroviv Water Filter System
  1. Customizable: Hydroviv filters are created based on the customer’s water quality data. The company leverages local water quality data to create filters that are optimized for your specific water source, making it one of the most tailored solutions in the market.
  2. Easy Installation: Hydroviv filters are designed for a seamless installation process. You don’t need a professional plumber to set it up, which saves you time and money.
  3. Comprehensive Filtration: Hydroviv filters remove a wide range of contaminants, including lead, chromium-6, arsenic, and more. They are also known to be effective in filtering out PFAS and fluoride.

Cons of Hydroviv Filters

  1. Cost: Compared to other water filter systems, Hydroviv filters come with a higher upfront cost. Also, the filters need to be replaced every six months, which can add up over time.
  2. No Storage Tank: Hydroviv filters do not come with a storage tank, meaning that they can’t provide filtered water during a power outage or when your water supply is turned off.

Berkey Water Filters: A Detailed Overview

Berkey filters are gravity-fed systems known for their exceptional filtration capabilities and storage capacity.

Berkey systems use a simple gravity-fed filtration method. Water drips through porous ceramic filters made from earth minerals.

How Berkey Works

Here’s what’s inside Berkey’s filters:

  • Micro-Porosity: The ceramic material is filled with millions of micro-pores that mechanically trap particles and contaminants.
  • Adsorption: The pores have a slight electrical charge that chemically attracts and binds to chemicals and heavy metals.
  • Ion Exchange: Dissolved heavy metals like lead and arsenic are removed through an ion exchange process.
  • Material: The ceramic shell is made from a proprietary blend of several different earth materials such as clay, shell and geologic oxides.

While the ceramic filters are effective at removing many contaminants through this blend of mechanical trapping, adsorption and ion exchange, they do not remove smaller particles like viruses without additional stages.

Pros of Berkey Filters

Berkey Water Filter System
  1. Storage Capacity: Berkey filters come with a storage tank, making them a great option for emergency situations where water or power is unavailable. They can also be used outdoors, which is great for camping or other outdoor adventures.
  2. Long-Lasting Filters: Berkey filters can last up to several years before needing replacement, depending on the model and usage. This makes them cost-effective in the long run.
  3. Exceptional Filtration: Berkey filters are capable of removing over 200 contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, and chemicals. They can even filter out food coloring without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs.

Cons of Berkey Filters

  1. Size: Berkey filters are larger and bulkier compared to other systems, which might not be suitable for small kitchens.
  2. Slow Filtration: The gravity-fed system of Berkey filters can be slower compared to other systems, particularly when the filters are nearing the end of their lifespan.

Key Differences Between Hydroviv and Berkey Water Filter Systems

  • Customization

One of the primary differences between Hydroviv and Berkey lies in the level of customization. Hydroviv designs its filters based on the specific contaminants found in your local water source. This ensures that the filter you receive is optimized to handle the impurities present in your water.

On the other hand, Berkey provides a general-purpose filter designed to handle a wide array of contaminants. While effective, it doesn’t offer the same level of tailored filtration as Hydroviv.

  • Filtration Mechanism

The two systems use different mechanisms to filter water. Hydroviv uses a multi-stage filtration process involving activated carbon, sediment filters, and other proprietary filter media.

The water flows through these stages under pressure, which allows for a faster filtration process.

In contrast, Berkey operates through a gravity-fed system. Water slowly trickles down the filter elements and is purified in the process. While this method is slower than Hydroviv’s pressurized system, it’s highly effective at removing a wide range of contaminants.

  • Installation and Use

Hydroviv filters are designed for under-the-sink installation. They’re straightforward to install and don’t require any significant changes to your plumbing system, which is a big plus for renters or those who prefer an easy setup.

Berkey filters, on the other hand, are standalone units that require no installation. They can be placed anywhere and are portable, making them a great option for outdoor activities like camping.

However, they’re larger in size, so you need ample countertop space to accommodate them.

  • Longevity and Maintenance

Berkey filters have a longer lifespan compared to Hydroviv filters. Depending on the model and usage, Berkey filter elements can last several years before needing replacement, making them cost-effective in the long run.

In contrast, Hydroviv filters require replacement every six months, which might seem more frequent, but this ensures the filter’s effectiveness in dealing with the specific contaminants in your water.

  • Storage Capacity

Berkey has a clear edge over Hydroviv when it comes to storage capacity. The Berkey system features a storage tank that can hold filtered water, making it readily available even during power outages. This feature also makes Berkey an ideal choice for emergencies.

Hydroviv, being an under-the-sink system, does not offer any storage capacity. It provides filtered water on demand, which might be a limitation during power or water supply outages.

While both Hydroviv and Berkey offer excellent water filtration, they cater to different needs and preferences. Your choice should be guided by your specific requirements, such as the nature of contaminants in your water, your installation preferences, and the need for storage capacity.

  • Contaminant Removal

One of the most important considerations when choosing a water filter is what it actually removes from your water. Here’s how Hydroviv and Berkey compare:


Here are the main contaminants removed by Hydroviv systems:

  1. Lead
  2. Arsenic
  3. Chlorine
  4. Pesticides
  5. Herbicides
  6. Hormones
  7. Pharmaceuticals
  8. Microplastics
  9. Cryptosporidium
  10. Giardia
  11. PFAS
  12. Benzene
  13. Bacteria
  14. Viruses
  15. Asbestos
  16. VOC chemicals

Hydroviv will customize the blend of filter media in your system based on your local water report to target major issues like lead, pesticides, hormones or chlorine.


Berkey systems reduce these contaminants:

  1. Heavy metals like lead and arsenic
  2. Chlorine compounds and byproducts
  3. Bacteria
  4. Parasites
  5. VOCs
  6. Petroleum chemicals
  7. Pesticides/herbicides
  8. Cloudiness and particulates

However, Berkey does not remove smaller water-borne pathogens like viruses without additional filter elements. And its ceramic filters are not verified to remove hormone-disrupting PFAS chemicals now being found in many water supplies.

So while Berkey tackles some major contaminants like lead and chlorine-byproducts, Hydroviv filters out a wider range of emerging toxins, hormone disruptors, disease-causing pathogens and synthetic pollutants.

  • Customer Reviews

Looking at customer reviews is also helpful in comparing two products. Here’s what users have said about their experience with both filtration systems:

Hydroviv Reviews

On TrustPilot, Hydroviv has a “Great” rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from over 500 reviews. Here’s what customers like:

  1. Fast shipping and easy installation
  2. Significant improvement in water taste, smell and quality
  3. Filters customized to their water issues like lead or chlorine
  4. Responsive customer service
  5. Hassle-free filter replacements

The main complaints cite the higher upfront cost. But most agree the water quality improvement is worth the price.

Berkey Reviews

Berkey systems get 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on 300+ reviews. Positive feedback includes:

  1. Durable and long-lasting ceramic filters
  2. Easy to assemble and maintain
  3. Water tastes great and seems purer
  4. Notices health improvements like better skin

Negative reviews mention leaking plastic housing components and very slow water flow on some models. The lack of filtration for viruses and PFAS is also cited.

So both brands enjoy strong customer satisfaction and improve water purity. Hydroviv users highlight the custom-tailored filters and modern technology while Berkey reviews praise the simple, self-sufficient system with great tasting water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Hydroviv filters good?

Yes, Hydroviv filters are known for their high-quality and comprehensive filtration. Their customizability makes them a good choice for those looking to target specific contaminants in their local water supply.

What is better than a Berkey?

While Berkey provides exceptional filtration and storage capacity, Hydroviv might be a better option if you’re looking for a customizable and easy-to-install system that’s specifically tailored to your local water quality.

Does Hydroviv really remove PFAS?

Yes, Hydroviv filters are designed to effectively remove PFAS, a group of man-made chemicals that are concerning for human health, from your water.

Does Hydroviv remove fluoride?

Yes, Hydroviv filters are capable of removing fluoride from your water. Fluoride, while beneficial for dental health, can lead to health issues when consumed in high amounts.

What are the disadvantages of Berkey water filters?

Some drawbacks of Berkey systems:
1. Do not remove smaller pathogens like viruses without added filters.
2. Ceramic filters are not proven to remove PFAS.
3. No digital monitoring of filter life or water quality.
4. Shorter 2-year warranty period.
5. Cannot customize filters based on your actual water quality.


When choosing between Hydroviv and Berkey water filter systems, it ultimately depends on your specific needs. If you’re looking for a customizable, easy-to-install system that caters to your local water quality, Hydroviv might be the better choice.

However, if you value storage capacity and long-lasting filters, then Berkey may be more suitable for you.

Remember, clean water is not just about taste. It’s about ensuring the health and safety of you and your loved ones. Whichever system you choose, both Hydroviv and Berkey offer solid solutions for improving your water quality.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own ReliefInBath.com From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

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